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Destructive gemstone testing, done carefully, can help gemologists with difficult gem identifications. Learn the right techniques with our…
Did you know most gem species can be distinguished without the element of color? Learn the role gemstone colors play in gem identification.
Although lapidaries can cut cabochons and decorative objects from massive or translucent eudialyte crystals, transparent material suitable…
How does faceting affect gem value? Custom-cut gemstones are unique pieces and command a high price. Learn how custom cutting compares to factory…
How does the GemEx iLoupe compare to a standard jeweler’s loupe? Our review tests the device and app, designed for smartphones and tablets.
Disclosing enhancements to gems is a key duty for gemologists. Learn what are the hardest treatments to detect and how to report your findings clearly.…
For millennia, artisans have carved intricate cameos from black-and-white onyx. Solid black onyxes, faceted or cabbed, are also popular jewelry…
Jade is one of the most popular and expensive gemstones. It can also receive many enhancements. Learn about jade treatments and how to identify…
The crossed filters technique allows gemologists to detect chromium in gems. Learn how to build a portable device for conducting this useful ID…
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Although many associate January's birthstone
, garnet, with the color red, they can come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, orange, green and even blue.
Thanks to its beauty and relative abundance, the February birthstone
, amethyst, is used in all types of jewelry: from the mass market to the finest custom couture pieces.
The March birthstone
is aquamarine. Famed for millennia for its pure and even blue or blue-green color, potentially large size, and sparkling clarity, the aquamarine has been a valued gem to many cultures. Aquamarine is a variety of the gem species beryl, making it a close cousin of emerald.
is diamond. The vast majority of diamonds are transparent, colorless, and show an extraordinary display of well-defined white and multi-colored flashes. Rarely, diamonds also occur in a rainbow of exciting body colors.
is emerald, a rich green variety of the diverse beryl gem group which must exhibit a dark enough tone and saturation to be called by that name.
is the pearl. Pearls can only be grown by a very small percentage of mollusk species which may live in either saltwater or freshwater environments. Each species produces a distinctive-looking pearl that is characterized by a specific range of colors and sizes.
This vibrant red gemstone is the July birthstone
and is closely associated with love, passion, and romance. While there are affordable options to be found, the largest and most beautifully colored rubies can be very expensive; the best rubies may be sold for the highest cost-per-carat costs of any colored gemstone.
Peridot is the August birthstone.
It is also sometimes called the “evening emerald” because of its unique capacity to sparkle under natural or artificial light. However, it should not be confused with emerald because peridot has its own distinct characteristics setting it apart from other gemstones.
The September birthstone
is sapphire. Sapphires are members of the gem species corundum. Depending on the exact chemistry of individual stones, sapphires may present a whole spectrum of colors with the exception of red. This is because red sapphires are put into their own category and called rubies.
Pink tourmaline is the modern October birthstone
, loved for its breathtaking beauty and awe-inspiring variations of the color pink.
The most common birthstone for November
is yellow topaz however citrine, another lovely yellow gemstone, has been rising in popularity as an alternative and is much easier to purchase.
Blue zircon is known a modern December birthstones
alongside blue topaz and tanzanite. The more traditional December birthstones are lapis lazuli and turquoise.